Call for Papers—“Decolonizing Bodies: Engaging Performance”

Dancing Scene in the West Indies 1764-1796 by Agostino Brunias c.1730-1796

The central theme for the 3rd Biennial International Dance Conference is “Decolonizing Bodies: Engaging Performance.” This conference will take place on May 23-26, 2018, at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination of the University of the West Indies-Cave Hill, Barbados. The deadline for abstract submissions is February 15, 2018.

Description/Guidelines: The University of the West Indies Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination (EBCCI) invites proposals for papers; movement workshops; performances; site-specific works; academic posters; dance for the camera; theater, and multidisciplinary projects for the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination 3rd Biennial International Dance Conference, May 23rd to 26th, 2018. We welcome dance professionals, practitioners and scholars across disciplines from around the world whose research focuses on decolonization to contribute to dynamic discussions and cultural encounters on the topic: “Decolonizing Bodies: Engaging Performance”.

Colonialism strategically positioned the aesthetics of the dominant group as a model under which any other cultural expression is held in a subaltern state. It is argued that dance and the performing arts in general have, as a consequence, been held under an imposition of a rigid, mono-cultural and patriarchal aesthetic model. Globalization, on the other hand, as an epistemological project of colonialism, perpetuates the invisibility of uprooted cultures of countries from the Global South deemed “less valuable”, which are strategically appropriated by the hegemonic high art. According to the theoretical postulates of the Caribbean philosophers Frantz Fanon and Aimé Césaire, decolonization begins with awareness, opposition to hierarchies and institutions of socio-political power, and the creation of forms of human solidarity.

This conference, therefore, asks practitioners to interrogate the established structures and the creative individual, as well as philosophical and educational processes, towards the search for decolonization of the body and the form; and by so doing effect a decolonization of knowledge specifically in dance but generally across disciplines. We therefore invite responses to the following questions from perspectives that include but are not limited to gender, race and social class:

  • What is the impact of fusion forms in knowledge production, language and traditions?
  • How can the current category of contemporary dance be expanded to include a dancing body
  • Is there still a role for ritual to play in informing performance?
  • How do dancers negotiate the market forces in both their training and professional lives?
  • What possible changes in dance education may support the development of the awareness of self-identity among dance/performing arts students around the world mesmerized by the
  • commercialized styles broadcast by the media?
  • How is the discourse and performance of cultural difference negotiated spatially and physically
  • What kind of gaze focuses on the dancing bodies that reside in migration sites and in the Global
  • To what extent can dance forms “others” can be consciously diversified/hybridized while
    avoiding the pitfall of appropriation?
  • To what extent are the multi-culturalist/inter-culturalist projects valid?
  • In what way can the project of decolonizing dance as an artistic discipline be expanded?
  • Which bodies are allowed to show the dance and which are not?
  • What is the impact of a homogenizing aesthetic to creative forms in the periphery?
  • What is the responsibility of dance practitioners, cultural activists and dance scholars in the
    project of the decolonization of the body and in the production of knowledge?

[. . .] Submission Guidelines

  • Digital submission only – Mailed paper proposals will not be accepted.
  • Deadline for abstracts and videos: February 15th, 2018
  • Notification of acceptance: March 15th, 2018
  • Submission date for publication of papers: July 15th, 2018
  • Conference registration fees: US$300 (early registration from December 15th), US$350 after April 25th.
  • Abstract Submission Portal:
  • Proposal submission – contact:

All accepted panelists must register and pay the conference registration fee by April 25th, 2018.

For more submission details, see

[Painting above, “Dancing Scene in the West Indies,” by Agostino Brunias c.1730–1796. Source:]

2 thoughts on “Call for Papers—“Decolonizing Bodies: Engaging Performance”

  1. Masha danki! Ik had het inderdaad zien voorbij komen. Kan ik dezelfde abstract als voor Islands in between opsturen?

    Groet, Aronnette ________________________________

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